by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 02 Feb 2006)
I cannot let this occasion slip past us without commenting on what I feel is a momentous occasion for the entire nation. What has me so excited? My exhilaration comes from a mere letter to the Editor on Monday, January 30, 2006 from the father of a family who has opened his eyes to see the PPP and his former newspaper in a different light.
This father and businessman, Lalta Gainda, was a staunch PPP supporter, as was his father and his father's father. However, now it seems Gainda and his family are having a change of heart concerning their long-time loyalties since they were subjected to brutal beatings during a robbery last week.
In his letter, Gainda said, “It is a myth that such activities make the support base of the PPP stronger because in our case it will certainly have a negative effect, which will be further expanded by our other relatives and friends.”
This statement challenges the theory I put forth on the same day this family was victimised concerning the possibility of the PPP implementing the Hobbesian approach of chaos to maintain control of the people.
Good for you Mr. Gainda! You, your family and your friends are the kind of people who have the astuteness and spirit to make Hobbes' theory shatter into tiny little pieces. Your letter signifies a distinct psychological shift that I hope many others will follow as well.
You mentioned that this whole situation has had a negative effect on how you, your relatives and your friends view the PPP. I wish everyone who has been victimised by a preventable flood could see things as clearly as you have. For all of the women who have been sexually assaulted and then watched their rapist walk out of court as a free man, I wish they could understand that life could be better.
For every young person who feels weighted down by the hopelessness of the future, I wish they could have Mr. Gainda's insight for even just an hour. If I could, I would wish this same insight on every one in Guyana . I would love for this nation to prove that Hobbes' theory is completely wrong.
Mr. Gainda took a drastic step to shake off this loyalty to an entity that is not deserving of such devotion. For that I admire him. However, it is the fact that he made his new stance known to the public that makes him a hero in my eyes. When I read his letter, I could have danced for the entire day (except that I was driving in a car the whole day instead).
This is indeed a momentous occasion in Guyana and such a splendid event should not be allowed to pass without the proper pomp and circumstance that should accompany any heroic event.
I would like that all of Guyana follow in the steps of Mr. Gainda and his family by demanding a safe life. This father is obviously done waiting for the PPP to do something about this situation – and he is done waiting for the Chronicle to care about his family's safety too. Mr. and Mrs. Gainda, I would be so honoured to shake your hand one day.
I hope this letter is the first of very many letters from people all over the country who want to prove Hobbes' theory to be faulty. The only way this theory of chaos can be disproved is by the people, as a whole, demanding an end to the chaos and replacing the perpetrating government with one that will take the necessary steps to end the chaos.
As long as the people sit back and accept their plight (crime, poverty, etc.), they have proven Hobbes to be correct. It is only when they take back control and refuse to be a citizen of a chaotic society that change will come and good things will start happening.
It is foolish to carry out the same action over and over expecting a different result. Likewise, it is foolish to put an incompetent government in office over and over again – each time expecting a different result. If poverty, flooding, crime and corruption are what you want in life, then the current government knows how to accomplish that job quite well.
However, if you want prosperity, a solid infrastructure, a safe society and a competent government, then you might want to start shopping around for an alternative choice to the PPP because they do not seem to have the capacity or the will to make any of this happen.
Last week, Mr. Gainda and his family had to rely on the mercy of a cold-hearted, abusive bandit to see the dawn of the next day. They could not rely on their government, the newspaper they had long supported or even the overwhelmed police department. This father seems to hold little hope of seeing justice dispensed either. Instead, they had to rely on one of the very men who were inflicting brutal blows to their bodies right in front of their kids. This ought not to be – and there is only one way to change it, in the voting booth.
This is what it all comes down to – is this family so determined to live a better life that they can change their generational voting pattern? Or will they prove Hobbes right and vote for the same government that allowed this victimisation by inaction and incompetence? If they vote the same as always, then they can only expect more of the same type of life they have right now.
When I said that change would come to Guyana through the people and not through a political victory, this is what I meant. This is not about the PPP, the PNC or any other political party. This is about the people and what they want in life – more of the same or something better. Mr. Gainda and his family seem to want something better.